Teens who become parents at such a fragile age face a long and strong battle to successfully rear their kids, along with fulfilling other roles that the society expects from them. Teenage girls who become mothers also need to become productive and contributing members of the society. Becoming a successful young woman as well as an efficient parent at the same time ban often be an insurmountable challenge. The good news is that teen mothers can also learn the basics of looking after themselves as well as their child by learning certain important skills.
The Major Challenges of Teenage Mothers
A large number of teenagers get pregnant due to different reasons. In fact, lack of knowledge about birth control methods is one of the main reasons behind this. There are certain kinds of teenagers who are more likely to become pregnant in comparison to other teenagers of the same age. These include those teenagers who:
• Face regular conflicts with their family members
• Have suffered sexual abuse or violence in their childhood
• Were born to a mother who was a teenage parent
• Face problems in performing well at school
• Lack a stable housing arrangement
• Belong to a low socio-economic background
• Suffer from low-self esteem
• Have had an absent father
Becoming a parent at such a young age can make it extremely difficult to complete their education or get a job. Juggling the daily responsibility that parenthood demands, along with school, work, and social life can be extremely difficult. Find suitable child care can also be tricky, especially if the parent is not able to afford it. This can also make it difficult to cope up with the situation financially. Often, teen parents end up feeling lonely and distant from friends and family.
On the flip-side, teenage parents usually have a lot more energy than older parents to keep up with the demands of the toddlers. They can deal with the completely different lifestyle of a new parent in a much better way than older parents. They can more capable of handling no sleep or little sleep due to their young age. However, young parents whose bodies are still developing when they are pregnant can find it difficult to sustain the growth of two bodies at once.
Another challenge that teenage parents might face is that they are not able to give enough attention to their children as they are usually extremely busy coping up with the other facets of their lives. They often have to worry about other things such as finishing studies, finding a job, or working. So many young parent may feel dissatisfied with the time that they are able to give to their children.
Important Tips for Teenage Parenting
Taking Care Of The Mom-To-Be
Raising kids required a number of skills, which are both external as well as internal. When teenage girls become pregnant, they usually go into depression, and feel low self-esteem and anxiety. It is very important for the teenage mothers to be proactive, both in terms of emotional health as well as physical health. Be on the lookout for ways to stay away from depression and other emotional disturbances. One of the ways to accomplish this is by increasing social connections of the teen mother, which can support her emotionally. Also, smoothing the relationship with one’s own family members is also very important to bring about a new sense of support and assurance of help.
Learning Parenting Skills
Learning the skills of taking care of a new born baby is undoubtedly a huge reality check for teenage mothers. A number of social agencies offer ‘new mommy’ classes which can be quite beneficial for a teen mother. Besides this, a number of high schools and other such agencies are offering courses on parenting skills these days and teach new mother everything from home finance to basic nutrition. Various community colleges and vocational agencies also offer parenting skill courses.
Earning Your Livelihood As a Mom
Teen mothers also need to contribute to their personal income and work towards professional development. A few specific jobs exists, which have been designed specifically for the teen mothers, and all federal and state protections are also applicable to teen moms. When looking for a job, make sure that the company offers child-care plan to their employees as well. If this is not the case, take the help of family members, houses of faith, local churches, and other such agencies to help you by looking after your child when you work.
Conquering High School
Finishing studies is a big challenge for most of the teenage mothers. The huge drop out rates that most colleges see these days, have encouraged them to offer daycare programs to help teenage parents to attend high school classes conveniently. The entire society would be benefited if the teenage mothers are able to graduate high school. Check with your school’s principle to find out what resources are available in your area.
To Get Further Help
If you are a teen parent, there are certain ways which can help you deal with the challenges of having a child. Getting enough support from the friends, family members, and the society in general can be quite helpful in coping with the challenges of young parenthood.
Try to finish high school, if you haven’t been able to do so already. This can also be quite challenging as you will need to study during the night time, when your parents, friends, or your partner can look after the child. Having a solid educational foundations will be beneficial in the long run, as it will increase your chances of getting a good job.
If possible, stay with your parents till you child is old enough to look after himself. This will help in reducing the pressure of taking care of the child, as well as help you cope up with the financial aspects of parenthood. Your parents can also provide your with backup in case of an urgent requirement, and share helpful tips when it comes to taking care of a child.
If you are living away from the family or are on your own, look for different ways of getting financial support, such as through ‘Centrelink’. This can help you fulfill the living expenses and the rent.
Contact members of your local community center to find a suitable support group for teenage parents. These groups are extremely beneficial as they provide emotional support. Not only this, it is also a great way to get up-to-date information about child health care and development.
Try to look for an affordable counseling service or take the help of your local council for the same. Counseling can be extremely beneficial to help parents deal with various issues associated with becoming a parent at such a young age.
Speak to as many experts as you can, whoever you come in touch with, including your doctor, health nurse, or any other expert linked with child care to find our about the best ways to create the right home environment for the children. In this way, you can also find information about topics like health, nutrition, and emotional development.
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